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Judge, VA reach opposite conclusions in Arizona malpractice case

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2015 | Surgical Errors

The officials from the US Department of Veterans Affairs said that a former patient’s inability to use his arm in an uncompromised manner had nothing to do with negligence on the part of the doctor who performed surgery on him.

However, a federal judge ruled after a two-week trial that the VA surgeon “was below the standard of care in six different areas.” The decision was detailed in a media article chronicling the case (see link below). The Court, entered a surgical malpractice ruling in the amount of $3.2 million dollars in favor of the Plaintiff.

“I feel absolute vindication,” noted the plaintiff, himself a former military doctor and spine surgeon.

Although every legal case stands on its own merits, of course, it is notable and perhaps telling that the Phoenix VA Health Care System — the venue at which the botched surgical outcome occurred — has been legally pursued for remedies by victims in personal injury or wrongful death cases in a high number of instances. Reportedly, and at the time that reporters were examining the plaintiff doctor’s case last year, the Phoenix VA had been targeted as the defendant in such lawsuits more than 200 times since 2004.

“They did more than deny my claim,” the plaintiff said in referring to VA officials who persistently denied any wrongdoing or culpability.

“They tried to make me the villain.”

Source: ABC, “Phoenix VA ordered to pay $3.2M in malpractice case; patient claimed shoulder surgery was botched,” Dave Biscobing, Shawn Martin, Aug. 27, 2015